Hidden Perspectives

Bringing the Bible Out of the Closet

Christmas Concert- Exclusive Interview

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If you’re not feeling Christmassy yet, then join us for the Hidden Perspectives Christmas concert tomorrow and you’ll be sure to leave with a festive glow! There will be mince pies and mulled wine and oh yeh… a Christmas cabaret angel! See here for details of the event.

The angel Gabriel, played by the incredible Dominic Mattos has a Christmas twist you won’t want to miss! For those of you at the Hidden Perspectives Festival earlier this year, you’ll know what I mean! But for those of you that weren’t lucky enough to see the angel Gabriel’s first performance for Hidden Perspectives, check out the interview below for a teaser of what’s to come…

Dom VInterview with Dominic Mattos who will be portraying the angel Gabriel:

Please can you introduce yourself to the blog readers? I am a publisher of Academic Biblical Studies books for Bloomsbury/T&T Clark. I also have a second career as a cabaret performer which has taken me to venues as diverse as the tiny Jermyn Street Theatre in London and the 1200 seat Blackpool Grand, as well as across the seas to New York and Luxembourg. For the Hidden Perspectives Festival in June I did a short cabaret show about the bible and pop music, as an angel, I’m reprising this – together with some Christmas numbers – for the Christmas concert.

What will you be doing at the Hidden Perspectives Christmas concert? I will be doing a show of Biblical pop and Christmas music, from the perspective of the Angel Gabriel… without whom Christmas would have been impossible.

Could you tantalise us with a hint about your song list? Lots of fun stuff… some of the great pop classics that I did in the summer together with all sorts of Christmas numbers, especially Chris de Burgh.

How will you be mingling gender and sexuality and Christmas? Well, the main way is that there is an element of gender ambiguity around angels. They are also not seen as sexual beings. There’s a freedom in performing as an angel which enables the character created/depicted to be in a sense genderless. Angels are also in some ways the drivers of the Christmas story. They are God’s messengers throughout. They sort out the annunciation. They make Joseph accept Mary. They bring the Shepherds in and they tell the wise men not to go to Herod, and tell Joseph to flee to Egypt. Where would we be without them?! More seriously in both infancy narratives the angels work against a framework of shame… the shame Mary would have felt at being a single mother, the shame Joseph might have felt at taking Mary as his wife. I find it very interesting that we have these somewhat ambiguous (in many ways) figures are involved in this process of removing shame throughout the narrative of what would otherwise have been a ‘shameful’ birth for Christ. There’s much to contemplate in this.

Are you looking forward to Christmas, how do you celebrate? Very much so, although thinking about it at the moment is a little daunting. I celebrate with my family. I will go to Mass on Christmas Eve. Then I will do an awful lot of cooking and eating, and spend time with my family.

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Author: Hidden Perspectives

A research project within the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS) at The University of Sheffield.

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